Top Moments: Breaking Bad's Stunning End, NCIS' Ziva Goodbye, Scandal's Reveal
by Joyce Eng and Kate Stanhope
Our top moments of the week:
14. Double Trouble Award: In the first episode of Welcome to the Family, the Yoder and Hernandez families are rocked by the news that their daughter and son, respectively, are going to have a baby together. And then just as the families get a grasp on that big news, grandma-to-be Caroline learns that she too is pregnant! Aw, mother-daughter bonding.
13. Saddest Change of Heart: On The Mindy Project, Pastor Casey, Mindy’s fiancé, decides what he really wants to be is a DJ — no, wait, an event planner. Mindy realizes that she can’t put her life on hold for each one of Casey’s unreasonable dreams. So she tearfully breaks off the engagement. Maybe Casey should be a professional heartbreaker.
12. The Truth Hurts Award: When Shay first raised the question of the paternity of Renee’s baby last week on Chicago Fire, Severidge brushed off the possibility that he might not be the daddy. This week he asks her directly, and the answer is not good: Renee had a one-night stand with some guy in Spain, and guess what? He’s the padre. “I actually convinced myself that it was yours. It was ours,” she says. A delusional pregnant woman who knows she’s delusional? Way to dodge a bullet, Severide!
11. Best Entrance: Take that, Bill Murray! Sean Hayes tops the comedian’s Liberace-inspired entrance on the Late Show with David Letterman by jumping off a balcony and onto a giant stunt mattress. If he did that on Sean Saves the World, we’d watch!
10. All By Myself Award: Poor Bonnie has been put through the wringer. Not only is she dead (that’s a big not only), but in the final moments of The Vampire Diaries premiere, she watches in horror as Silas slits the throat of her father — her only remaining family member in town. Even worse? No one can hear her scream or comfort her with a hug. But hey, maybe he’ll be a better dad on the other side.
9. The Coal in the Stocking Award: The X Factor reinvents itself (again, yawn!) by introducing the Four-Chair Challenge, in which a mentor cuts six of their own 10 competitors by the end of a round. The elimination of Denny Smith, who is nicknamed Santa Claus with his fluffy white beard and red attire, illustrates the mockery that this show has become. “Kelly, are you going to be naughty or nice?” host Mario Lopez prompts. “Santa, I’m going to send you home,” Kelly says. Some have compared the new elimination format to the arena-style ruthlessness of The Hunger Games, but Katniss never had to take out Santa Claus. Ho-ho-NO!
8. No Brotherly Love Award: The Originals‘ series premiere gives us a case of déjà vu by repeating the events of last season’s backdoor pilot — but this time from Elijah’s point of view. What does he see that we didn’t before? Klaus reverts to his old ways by killing his only brother! How long before he changes his mind and removes the stake?
7. Most Bad Lampoon: Breaking Bad wasn’t the only drama to end this week (emphasis on “drama”). After 237 “seasons,” the U.S. government also shut down — and Stephen Colbert can’t wait to see how Breaking Gov will end. “Oh, it has been a helluva ride, folks. What a dramatic arc!” the funnyman says on The Colbert Report. “It started out as a highly sympathetic character in the 1770s, but in just 237 seasons, it has transformed into an egotistical, self-destructive maniac. I am dying to know what’s going to happen tonight!” And who created Breaking Gov? Barack Obama, of course.
6. Best Perspective: On the very evening that MTV prepares to debut their perfectly choreographed super-revealing Miley Cyrus documentary titled The Moment, Jimmy Kimmel is kind enough to go into the archives and dig up the original documentary about the singer on his show. In Ken Burns‘ (fictional) documentary, he narrates the piece by saying that America “was in the midst of a devastating epidemic of Bieber fever” when Cyrus introduced the greater threat of twerking. In addition to interviewing an elderly man clearly still scarred by Cyrus’ MTV VMAs performance, Burns even quotes a tweet from user @Wuzupdog22, who called the dance “#inappropriate.” Is it bad that we also now want to see Burns’ doc on Bieber fever?
5. Can’t Hardly Wait Award: After this week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. name-dropped several Avengers, it should come as no surprise that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes a cameo. After Coulson and the team pretty much destroyed “the bus,” Fury stops by to chastise Coulson and reveal his suspicions about Skye’s allegiance to Rising Tide. What were the producers saying again about waiting to introduce elements from the movies?
4. Bloodiest Threat: Red John wasn’t bluffing when he told Jane last season on The Mentalist that he’ll start killing again until Jane catches him. On the season premiere, not only does Red John capture Lisbon while she’s investigating a lead, but after taunting Jane on the phone, he chillingly smears his signature smiley face in blood all over Lisbon’s unconscious face. We’re going out on a limb and guessing she’s not dead… yet.
3. Craziest Reveal: It’s time to jump back on the crazy train, Gladiators! After making us all spend the entire summer wondering who leaked Olivia’s name to the press as the president’s mistress, Scandal wastes little time and reveals that Fitz — yes, the president himself — outed her. It might not make sense at first, or ever, but he explains to Mellie that he had hoped that he could come clean, get a divorce and still win a second term. That’s reaching a bit, even from the people who brought us Grey’s Anatomy: The Musical.
2. Most Underwhelming Exit: On NCIS, Tony tracks down an MIA Ziva — who’s on a soul-searching trip to her native Israel — based on a dream he had (yeah, we know) and tries in vain to convince her to return with him to D.C. Instead, they say goodbye on an airplane runway, where Ziva tells Tony, “You are so loved,” and they finally kiss. “Hardest 180 of my life,” he says, as he walks to board the plane. Um, that’s it? Listen, we know Cote de Pablo‘s decision to leave the show was a surprise, but Tiva fans deserve a bit more than a few meaningful glances, a brief kiss and a handful of short Ziva scenes over two episodes. Plus: Are we ever going to find out what happened in Paris?!
1. Best Goodbye: In a tidy, satisfying finale, Breaking Bad goes out with a bang (well, lots of bangs) and offers closure on many fronts, as Walter White takes his last breath in his favorite place, the meth lab, reunited with his true love: chemistry. But the finale’s most poignant moment comes earlier. In a surprising moment of clarity while paying one last visit to Skyler, Walt finally stops lying to himself — that he started cooking meth for his family — and says what we’ve all known for a while. “I did it for me,” he tells Skyler. “I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really… I was alive.” It’s an honest, matter-of-fact proclamation — no apology, no begging for forgiveness — that gives him not redemption, but peace with himself, with Heisenberg. And don’t worry, Walt, we’ll always remember your name — just like you wanted.
What were your top moments?